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Let’s take time out to remember some of the great men and women whose efforts helped to secure our independence in the first place. Indeed, the labour of these heroes past shall never be in vain as we stay hopeful of what Nigeria’s future holds for us all. They are:   independence day national heroes Herbert Macaulay, born Olayinka Badmus Macaulay, is regarded by many as the father of Nigerian nationalism. Notably, he is the grandson of Africa’s first Bishop, Samuel Ajayi Crowther, and the son of Thomas Macaulay, the founder of the first secondary school in Nigeria, C.M.S. Grammar School, Lagos. Macaulay opposed British rule in the entirety of his active life, exposing European corruption in the handling of railway resources for instance. He was also the founder of our country’s first political party, Nigerian National Democratic Party which won all the seats in the elections of 1923, 1928 and 1933. He also co-founded the National Council of Nigeria and Cameroun with fellow politician, Nnamdi Azikiwe, who became the country’s first President between 1963 and 1966.     Obafemi-Awolowo Obafemi Awolowo was a politician primarily renowned for his service as Nigeria’s first premier in the Western region and securing significant legislations that led to Nigeria’s independence. The latter took place during his leadership of the Action Group in the 1950s, as he represented the Western Region in constitutional conferences. He advocated for Nigeria’s federalism in his Path to Nigerian Freedom (1947) which was the first systematic federalist manifesto written by a Nigerian politician.   national heroes independence day nigeria Ahmadu Bello was notably a descendant of Usman Dan Fodio, the founder of the Fulani Empire. He fought for the North in negotiations for Nigeria’s independence alongside with fellow northerner, Tafawa Balewa. The eventual premier of Northern Nigeria from 1954 to 1966 also strongly advocated for federalism during its formation.       national heroes independence day Aminu Kano was a Muslim politician who led the socialist movement against British rule in the North during the 1940s. He was also the founding member of the Northern Elements Progressive Union (NEPU) and will always be remembered as a symbol of women’s rights and freedom of speech.   national heroes indepdence day Margaret Ekpo is a pioneering female politician in Nigeria well-known for leading grassroot actions in the Eastern part of Nigeria during the First Republic. Born in July 1914, she witnessed our country’s growth at its infancy stage within the British colonial era. She was a key player in mobilizing women across Nigeria to push for greater political participation and advocacy for their rights, alongside Mrs. Funmilayo Ransome Kuti. This same passion led to the formation of the Aba Township Women’s Association in 1954.   remi fani kayode Remi Fani-Kayode was a lawyer and the Deputy Premier of Nigeria in 1963 but played an active role in securing Nigeria’s independence prior. He was detained in 1952 by the British authorities for speaking out against them, along with counterparts, Bode Thomas and Rotimi Williams.   Happy Independence Day Nigeria!        

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This article was first published on 1st October 2015


Ify Halim is a Writer and media enthusiast based in Lagos. She enjoys writing self-help/inspirational articles with published work in UYD Magazine, Edufrica, Our Stories Inc. and The Keele Concourse. She currently works at, Nigeria’s Information Portal. Follow her on Twitter @MissHalim or visit her online space at

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One thought on “Celebrating Our National Heroes”

  • SLM we pray for our beloved Nigeria may the blessing and peace of God be to Nigeria and Nigerians Amen thanks and god bless u

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